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Friday, August 16, 2013

Expat to Expat Q&A: August

So I guess the rumors are true. We moved from small town Laie on the North Shore of Oahu, and we moved to the hustle and bustle of Suwon, South Korea. We are now expats... at least for the next 12 months or so.
 I really want to connect with other expats, so I am linking up with Belinda from Found Love Now What and Bailie from The Hemborg Wife for their monthly link up Expat to Expat

*Now, I have only been in South Korea for a week, so I am in no ways an expert. My answers to the following questions are purely on what I have seen so far in my little part of the country. 

August Questions: 

1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why? 
Funny story, the first time I went to our local grocery store for the first time I started crying. I have never felt so overwhelmed with doing a simple task like buying groceries. Luckily, my husband was kinda waiting for a breakdown like this and we bought our few items and left the store. 

From what I have seen there are small connivence stores on almost every corner that have most of your basics (i.e. milk, eggs, cereal, meat, etc.) They also have these Lotte super stores. This particular Lotte store has different stories full of stuff you would need. The bottom floor is dedicated to groceries. I don't think I have a favorite yet, but we have lots of choices!  

2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand?
I have not shopped enough to know the difference between name brand vs. store brand. I can't even read most labels! :) But when I figure that out I'll let you know. I know in past experiences we usually do what's the cheapest option. 

3. What do you think is the best way to get about your city? i.e. bus, bike, car, etc
Here we have tons of options and it really just depends on where we are going. If we want to go to the downtown area we can take the subway. There is a subway station really close to where we live now. I like going on the subway because there were signs in English, it is really clean, they have AC, and it is easy to use. If we want to go a little bit further (like to work) we take the bus. There are transportation cards that you can get and put money on them, and they work for the bus and subway. If you don't have that card you can buy a one way ticket for 1,600 won (close to a $1.50) and you can redeem them at the end of your ride and get 500 won (close to .50 cents) back. There are tons of things within walking distance to us, but right now I am hating walking around because it is so hot, although it's the cheapest option. Usually when we go out for dinner we just walk to a restaurant close to us. 

4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies?
We can go to the Lotte store to get these things, or to HomePlus. You can get whatever you want from these places. 

5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends? 
One thing I have noticed in the week I've been here is that there are tons of coffee shops- like on every corner. You have places like Holly's Coffee or Starbucks. Matt really likes Holly's Coffee, but we usually stick to any place that has good lemonade. 

Questions from Emma at Adventures of a London Kiwi
1. What was your “eureka, I’m practically a native” moment?
Haha- that has not happened yet! I'm not really sure if that will ever happen. But hopefully I can at least feel comfortable enough to get through day to day living. 

2. Does your real accent get in the way? 
Yes- but I'm pretty sure the main thing that gets in my way is the fact I don't speak Korean. Both Matt and I are trying to learn a little Korean so we can survive as best we can here. 


  1. I've heard stories of people crying at the supermarket because it's so overwhelming. It'll get better! I can't wait to hear all about your adventures :)

  2. Hello from the link-up!

    I am so pleased to have stumbled across your blog - I am a future expat so it was good to read your experiences as I am sure I will cry when out grocery shopping too!


  3. Mallory, Thanks for stopping by. I am such a fan of your blog! I can't wait to travel to Japan. My husband is half Japanese, so we are going to go to all his old family places.

    Molly, I can't wait to hear all about your adventures. It's really a great experience- it can just be a bit surreal. Plus, I'm a big crier, so it was to be expected.

  4. joining the expat blog community makes things SO much easier when you have those moment - we've all had them too! nice to meet you :)

  5. Betsy, Nice to meet you as well. It's good to know I'm not the only one that got a little crazy!

  6. Lovely to 'meet' you & share your expat journey! It can be a really interesting ride!

  7. Emma- Thanks for stopping by, and for the support!


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- Alex